Learn the Right Way to Photograph Fireworks

As you probably discovered the first time you picked up a fancy camera, be it a digital SLR or a high-end point-n-shoot, photography isn't easy. Automatic settings, while serviceable in some situations, can also result in crappy photos. Adding to the challenge is trying to shoot in the dark, which is something many of us will attempt tonight when fireworks light up the sky to celebrate our nation's Independence Day. Want some tips?

National Geographic has put together a nice little gallery that offers up some solid instructions on how to photograph fireworks like a boss. Of course, there's more than one way to take pictures of fireworks, and if you have a method that you feel is superior, feel free to share some tips with us and our readers in the comments section below.


The guide starts off basic enough and advises turning off your camera's flash. You want to have complete control over the exposure and aperture. National Geographic recommends starting at ISO 100, f/11, at 1/2 second. If the photos come out dim, adjust the shutter speed without changing the aperture.

It's also important to arrive early and secure a spot that gives you a great vantage point. That's harder to do once the crowds come rolling in. A tripod is also essential to capturing the best shots since you'll be working with slow shutter speeds.

There are plenty more tips in the guide. Give them a glance, stay safe tonight, and from all of us at HotHardware, have a fantastic 4th of July!